Updated: Jan 17
The first thing that comes to any Malaysians when mentioned 'Genting' would be the concrete casino above the clouds! Hiking would be the last thing on anyone's mind.
This area has so much more to bargain for. The unique tropical alpine zone is so rich in bio-diversity. The hike felt more like a stroll in an arboretum minus the leech suckers, muddy encounters and traversing deep ascend and descend, through Hobbitan land.
Starting point: If you are coming from KL, just follow the route towards Genting. You can park your car at the commercial area in Gohtong Jaya The trailhead starts at the red alter of the guardian of the hill, the start alleviation was 900m.
Hike Duration: Allow around 6-7 hours from the entrance of the jungle.
End Hike: It is a backtrack.
Hike Difficulty: 4/5
Scenery Rewards: 4/5 Sweeping views of the Titiwangsa Range
Note: This hike is relatively moderate but highly dependent on the weather. It rains quite a bit here due to the geographic location, especially during the October-December monsoon period! The trail gets really slippery and muddy. It demands a different level of strength when the trail turns into this brown sticky monster! My body is still aching from yesterday's hike!
What to bring
1. Basic first aid utilities
2. Walking stick is a live saver especially when the trail turns into hot creamy chocolate!
3. Raincoat and Pancho ( you will be able to find them at any convenience store or Daiso shops for about RM6.00) it would certainly rain, so make sure you have one!
4. Torch if you are starting early in the morning
5. At least 2l of water, pack lunch, snack
6. Change of clothes, especially if you want to refresh yourself by the waterfalls at the end of the hike.
7. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary
8. Gloves as you will be pulling and grabbing on to roots!
9. Check the weather forecast
10. A small bottle of spray with Listerine or Dettol in case of leech attack
11. The weather can range between 18-22 degrees Celcius. Bring warm clothes as it does get cool when you are at 1430m and worst if you are wet!
Part 1 - mini slippery slope & tarmac road (1 1/2hour)
We took the way behind the shops and ascended up the hill from the 'guardian alter'. We went up a slippery slope and hiked about 30minutes to reach a tarmac road!
As we started in the dark, and it had rained earlier, this mini slope was epic!
After 30 minutes of tree, root, scrub pulling, sliding, falling........we finally pass only the entry point!
I must say I used 30% of my energy just at the very start! There was 2 pooch that lead us in the dark....and all the way the rock garden (truly a man's best friend)
Soon, we arrived at a tarmac road.
Tarmac road/ Abandon quarry
The 2 km tarmac road was once a trunk road to Genting.
This part is a pleasant stroll with fresh cool air and blooming flowers flanking both sides. At some point, you will walk past the rock face of the mountain with a muddy lake! Shrouded in mist, it does look mysteriously enchanting.
Tip: When you approach a flat part full of ferns, there is a lookout point of the Titiwangsa range on a clear day.
At some point, at the sign GBB you will enter the jungle on the right leaving the tarmac road. I wonder where it would lead us to if we continued on.
Part 2 to Rock Garden
This part is gruelling! It starts with a descend through muddy sticky trail down the hill. Hold on to the roots and not trip over them. This trail turns into a stream of sticky, muddy, soil in the rain. The walking stick is a light sabre in this situation!
The climb begins at the gully of this hill! There is a narrow rest point 1/4 of the way up. You soldier over and under fallen trees, roots, scrub, thorny plants on the way up to the enchanting ROCK GARDENS. This will take you about 1 hour!
As we were hiking up Gunung Bunga Buah a thick cloud hanged menacingly over us. Some parts of the trail were wet, dark and depressing. But as soon as you reach the Rock Gardens the mood changes. There is an atmosphere of excitement as you reach the rock ridge.
Some clambering up the rocks required as you ascend into this soft carpet of interwoven moss up to the Rock Garden. The exposed rock can be slippery when wet and this little Rock Garden is narrow and the other side is a 90degree cliff, so beware!
Gunung Bunga Buah 1430m
From the Rock Gardens to the peak, you trample on mossy ground from peat and humus creating a velvety carpet feel! The abundance of moss and overhangs of epipthytes creates an out of the world feel. Bending overarches, soft mossy walls, some almost florescent green is surreal and I was excited for more! It took another 30 minutes to arrive at the peak from here! #gunungbungabuah
As you approach a flat land walk through the fern-filled area. If you have been hiking a bit, you will be familiar with this pyramid structure (triangulation station) that burst into sight and more breath-taking vantage points of Kuala Lumpur beneath and beyond.
Absorb the views and enjoy the scenery, fill up and head back down!
Flora and Fauna of the Cloud Forest
A cloud forest normally more than 500m in altitude mostly covered in fog, clouds, rain and moisture promotes the development of high biomass and biodiversity of epiphyte, particularly bryophytes, lichens, ferns (including filmy ferns), bromeliads and orchids.
The route from the Rock Gardens to the Peak would fit all the description of a cloud forest aka mossy forest.
If you look hard on dead tree brunches, brunches, rocks, they are full of creating epiphytes such as a huge variety of jungle orchids and of course the 'monkey pitcher'.
Scucculents and more ochids at elevations above 1000m
Low land shrubs and wild ginger plants
This hike up Gunung Bunga Buah was one full of surprises. The rich biodiversity of the place is enough to blow any regular flora/fauna seeker away! And besides, any hike with mossy forest is always a bonus! They are unique and are only 1% of the global woodland!
The hike was organized by Back to Nature adventure team. This was one of those hikes where it was necessary to have a guide who could lead and sweep the group to safety unscathed. I did this trail completly ignorant about the leech infestation......... many in our group contributed their share of blood to the notorious parasite! Just come prepare!
Due to the wet trail this hike was more physically demanding then most hikes.
At the very end of the trail, we still had to muster a whole lot of energy to descend from the very slippery slope.
Don't let the name Fruit Flower Mountain fool you but it is worth every effort!
Date visited: 11st October 2020